Short Notes for Various Competitive Examinations

The Government of India has started a new health scheme called AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) Retail Pharmacy. The cancer and heart medicine will be sold at discounted and subsidized rates. At this outlet the prices of 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs will be reduced on an average by 60 to 90 per cent. The pilot AMRIT outlet will be managed by the government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL), which will sell both drugs and implants at significant discount on market rates. These drugs and implants will be sold based upon authentic prescrip­tions from doctors to AIIMS patients and also patients availing treatment at other hospitals. Later, HLL Lifecare Ltd will establish and run the AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country with an aim to reduce the cost of treatment for the patients.

Save the Children

Save the Children is an inter­national non-governmental organiza­tion that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. It was established in the United King­dom in 1919 in order to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. Save the Children promotes policy changes in order to gain more rights for young people especially by enforcing the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Alliance members coordinate emergency-relief efforts, helping to protect children from the effects of war and violence. Save the Children has general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.



Crypto-currency is a type of digital currency that uses crypto­graphy for security and anti­counterfeiting measures. Public and private keys are often used to transfer crypto-currency between individuals. As a counter-culture movement that is often connected to cypherpunks, crypto-currency is essentially a fiat currency. This means users must reach a consensus about crypto­currency’s value and use it as an exchange medium. However, because it is not tied to a particular country, its value is not controlled by a central bank. With bitcoin, the leading func­tioning example of crypto-currency, value is determined by market supply and demand, meaning that it behaves much like precious metals, like silver and gold.


Crowd-funding is a way of raising finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money. Until recently, financing a business, project or venture involved asking a few people for large sums of money. Crowd­funding switches this idea around, using the internet to talk to thousands if not millions of potential funders. Typically, those seeking funds will set up a profile of their project on a website such as those run by our members. They can then use social media, alongside traditional net­works of friends, family and work acquaintances, to raise money.

Crowd-funding has the potential to increase entrepreneurship by expanding the pool of investors from whom funds can be raised beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives and venture capitalists.

GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation)

The Indian Space Research Orga­nization (ISRO) and Airports Autho­
rity of India (AAI) have implemented the GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation-GAGAN project as a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for the Indian Airspace. The objective of GAGAN is to establish, deploy and certify satellite based augmentation system for safety-of- life civil aviation applications in India has been successfully completed. The system is inter-operable with other international SBAS systems like US-WAAS, European EGNOS, and Japanese MSAS etc. Gagan is inten­ded to provide accurate navigation services over the Bay of Bengal, South East Asia, Indian Ocean, Middle East, and African regions. GAGAN pro­vides the additional accuracy, avail­ability, and integrity necessary for all phases of flight, from enroute through approach for all qualified airports within the GAGAN service volume. GAGAN Payload is already operational through GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 satellites.


Bhuvan is an interactive versatile visualization system that allows users to navigate (or ‘fly’) the entire globe, scanning satellite imagery with over­lays of natural resource information, roads, geographic •> features, and numerous other location-specific data points. Users can add their own points of interest and share them with others, chart routes, plot areas, cal­culate distances, and overlay separate images onto the application. Bhuvan connects to the Internet, making online resources available in connec­tion with particular places. Users can show or hide available layers in any combination. Using the scale and the robust measurement and terrain analysis tools, this user could plot mileages, calculate elevation differ­ence and slope angle between two or more points in the 3D View, terrain elevation profile along a path, find places of interest along the way, and link to Web sites to contact those establishments.


Bio-diesel is made from vege­table oil or animal fat (triglycerides) reacted with methanol or ethanol and a catalyst (lye), yielding bio-diesel (fatty acid methyl or pthyl esters) and glycerin as a by-product.

It can be used in any diesel engine without modifications—diesel engines run better and last longer with bio-diesel. And it can easily be made from a common waste product: used cooking oil.Bio-diesel is a much cleaner fuel than conventional fossil- fuel petroleum diesel. Bio-diesel can be used in pure form (B100) or may be blended with petroleum diesel at any concentration in most injection pump diesel engines.

Hydrogen Fuel

Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel when burned with oxygen (if one considers water not as an emission) or used in a contained cell also capable of ‘reversing’ the reaction if needed. It often uses electrochemical cells, or combustion in internal engines, to power vehicles and electric devices. It is also used in the propulsion of spacecraft and might potentially be mass-produced and commercialized for passenger vehicles and aircraft. Hydrogen can be used as the primary fuel in an internal combustion engine or in a fuel cell. A hydrogen internal com­bustion engine is similar to that of a gasoline engine, where hydrogen combusts with oxygen in the air and produces expanding hot gases that directly move the physical parts of an engine.


Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electro­nically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros— they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathe­matical problems. It’s the first example of a growing category of money known as crypto-currency. A software developer called Satoshi Nakamoto proposed Bitcoin, which was an electronic payment system based on mathematical proof. The idea was to produce a currency independent of- any central authority,
transferable electronically, more or less instantly, with very low trans­action fees.

Silver Notice

The Interpol proposes to add to its armoury of measures for com­batting international crime the ’Silver Notice’ that1 would enable it to keep track of and confiscate movable and immovable assets of criminals globally. The Silver Notice will assist the 190 member countries of Interpol to locate, identify, monitor, seize and confiscate the assets of international criminals and terrorist organisations. The ‘Silver Notice’ is expected to promote international action and enhance the speed of the recovery of assets located in foreign jurisdiction. Presently the Interpol has seven major International notices—namely Red, Blue, Green, Black, Orange Notices, Stolen Property Notice and Modus Operandi (MO) Sheets. The Silver Notice, devoted to the tracing and recovery of assets owned by international criminals, would add a powerful instrument to the list of International notices of Interpol.

Uday Scheme

The Union Cabinet has approved a ‘reform’ package for loss-making electricity utilities. The scheme is named Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY). The scheme is aimed at providing financial turnaround and revival of Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs). It also ensures a sustainable permanent solution to the problem. The scheme assures the rise of vibrant and efficient DISCOMs through a permanent resolution of past as well as potential future issues of the sector. The scheme allows DISCOMS in few selected states to convert their debt into state bonds. According to the scheme, states will take over 75% of DISCOM debt as on September 30, 2015 over two years- 50% of DISCOM debt will be taken over in 2015-16 and 25% in 2016-17.

Imprint India

President Pranab Mukherjee on November 5,         2015 launched

‘IMPRINT India’, a joint initiative of country’s top educational institutes, aimed at developing a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges relevant
to India today. The objectives of this initiative are to identify areas of immediate relevance to society requir­ing innovation, direct scientific research into identified areas, ensure higher funding support for research into these areas and measure out­comes of the research effort with reference to impact on the standard of living in the rural and urban areas. The idea of launching IMPRINT India, which is now a joint project of IITs and IISc, originated during the conference of Chairmen, Board of Governors and Directors of Indian Institutes of Technology convened by the President in August 2014.

Continued from Page 122

  1. Which of the following state in India tops the list of fruit pro­ducer during the year 2014-15 ?
  • Maharashtra
  • West Bengal
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Gujarat
  1. As on Monetary Policy review, on February 2, 2016, repo rate stands at—
  • 7-75% (B) 7-25%

(C) 6-75%   (D) 6-25%

  1. ‘Stand-up India’ Scheme is associated with—
  • All small entrepreneurs
  • SC/ST entrepreneurs
  • Only women entrepreneurs
  • Only entrepreneurs in Rural Areas
  1. What is the maximum age of a girl child for opening account in ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Account’ ?
  • 5 years (B) 10 years

(C) 15 years (D) 18 years

  1. Reserve Bank of India has the right of printing currency notes upto the value of—
  • ? 1,000 (B) ? 5,000

(C) ? 10,000       (D) ? 20,000

1. (B) 2. (C) 3. (B) 4. (A) 5. (C
6. (D) 7. (A) 8. (B) 9. (A) 10. (C
11. (C) 12. (A) 13. (C) 14. (B) 15. (D
16. (A) 17. (D) 18. (B) 19. (A) 20. (B)
21. (A) 22. (C) 23. (B) 24. (B) 25. (C

Structural Change

Capital expenditure (capex) in the economy will now be driven by investments in digital, broadband, telecom, power transmission and distribution space and not so much by heavy industrial projects like in the past. The structure of economy is changing. The composition of invest­ments will also change along with what is happening in the rest of the economy. After a decade the lands­cape is changing at a rapid rate for India Inc. The traditional model of subsidy funded consumption growth and crony capitalism driven capex growth in India are being ‘reset’. The RBI brings about multiple policy changes to radically increase com­petition in the Financial Services sector. Technology lowers the barriers to entry into sectors such as lending, consumer goods and auto. The three steps already taken are: increasing India’s financial savings, to “‘curb

subsidies and an attempt to attack black money and crony capitalism. These measures would lead to noti­ceable changes in the Indian eco­nomy.

The Kelkar Committee Report points out the need for genuinely independent sectoral regulators. Without such regulators taking arms- length decisions, the working of PPPs will always be excessively subject to political and bureaucratic pressure or to influence by powerful promoters. The Report also recognises that renegotiation in such projects, given their long-term horizons, may become a fact of life. However, the continued capacity deficit in administering PPPs means private interest will not be revived soon. Indian Railways is clearly pursuing off-budget fund-raising doggedly. After LIC’s ? 1-5 lakh crore, the World Bank is working on a $ 30 billion package. These will be a major boost for the railway to fund several big-ticket expansion projects, includ­ing the debottlenecking of highly congested sections of the network. Capital expenditure in 2016 is thus expected to pick up substantially.


What about agriculture ? It’s all- pervading gloom in agriculture. The farmers are under severe stress with profitability in farming falling alarm­ingly. What are the key issues in the farm sector ? We need to be aware weather is a known unknown. Agri­cultural performance has been poor since the boom of the 2003-08 phases. Agriculture will be a concern and going ahead a lot is expected from the government in terms of spending. There is an urgent need to rejuvenate agriculture and the rural economy. The focus should be on how to revive agriculture in the medium term. In the last two years, it has shown how vulnerable agriculture really is. Especially in the context of climate change, we can’t afford to neglect agriculture.

As per the first revised estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the share of Primary Sector including agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishery was 20-04 per cent of the Gross Value Added (GVA) during 2014-15 at 2011-12 prices. During Q1 FY2016, agriculture and allied sectors
grew 1.9 per cent year-on-year and contributed 14.2 per cent of GVA.

Make in India

The present Government is try­ing to push the idea of ‘Make in India’. This is a welcome move. In order to rejuvenate India’s stunted industrial progress, we need better transporta­tion, more reliable and good quality power, fewer taxes / inspections / controls / registrations and other bureaucratic nightmares, faster clearances and turnarounds at ports— the list is long. Any government which is serious about supporting Indian manufacturing will have to attend to all these issues before entrepreneurial animal spirits take over. At a minimum, businesses should not be discouraged from ‘Making in India’. Make-in-India is not going to be a medicine that can cure all our ills. Creating the enabling environment of better infrastructure and less bureaucracy is not going to happen overnight.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

The present regime needs to focus more on getting the MSMEs sector up. The Micro Units Develop­ment and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) credit guarantee fund is expected to guarantee over ? 1 lakh crore worth of loans to micro and small units in the first instance.

Financial Sector

Large sections of the economy, including the crucial banking sector, are in trouble. The RBI has said that the government-owned banks’ health has deteriorated. Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are waiting for the big changes to come through. The gross non­performing assets ratio was 5.1 per cent for the first half of 2015-16. That’s around ? 65,000 crore. It will deter­iorate further by the end of March 2016. Banks are loathe to fix this because of unbearable strains on their accounts. The question of non-per­forming assets (NPAs) will linger on in 2016. Commercial banks are stuck with bad loans—in several cases, they have to engage in a write-off—and the risks. Restructuring is a legitimate activity. Large corporate defaulters have taken cover under dysfunctional bankruptcy laws and procedures.